Dianne Bland shows off her crocheted afghan. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
Two toothpicks, a spool of thread and a little green book is all it took for a young Dianne Bland to get hooked on needle arts.
“I use to go to the five and dime with my mother where there was a little green book on how to knit and crochet,” recalls Bland, who used her weekly allowance to purchase the book.
“My mother saw that I was interested, so when we went the next week, she bought me yarn and needles.” After teaching herself to knit, it was only a matter of time before the determined youngster got hooked on crocheting, as well.
Now, as an experienced knitter and crocheter, the Southfield resident says, “Knitting and crocheting are a place I can go if I don’t want to talk to anybody; and being a senior, it helps with that brain thing.”
And as a strong believer of sharing one’s abilities, Bland teaches knitting at City Knits in Harrison Township. Her classes range from beginner to a more advanced level for people wanting to learn Fair Isle and Intarsia.
However, there was once a time when her creative skills reached beyond needle arts into the world of performing arts when she taught classical ballet for more than 30 years in Detroit, and spent 10 years choreographing for Motown’s Spinners. She’s also instructed members of the Harlem Globetrotters and Detroit Lions on exercise routines to help improve their game.
Here’s Bland’s original pattern for a “quick-to-knit, cover-up” which she says “makes a great gift for the college student or everyday use.”
Cozy Crocheted Afghan
Cozy Crocheted Afghan
Estimated time: 18 hours
Tools: Size P crochet hook, tapestry needle, scissors
Finished size: Approximately 48 x 68 inches
Supplies: Worsted weight acrylic yarn: approximately 1,930 yards of color A (lime or color of choice) and 1,480 yards of color B (grape or color of choice) (90 st)
Abbreviations: c chain, st(s) stitch(es), sc single crochet, dc double crochet, rep repeat, yo yarn over
(Note: Each row is worked holding 2 strands of yarn throughout.)
To change colors: Work last sc on row before new color is to be added as follows: insert hook in st, with working color, yo and pull up loop. With 2 loops on hook, drop working color, yo with new color and pull through 2 loops on hook to complete sc st. Cut dropped color. Leave about a 6-inch tail when adding/ending a color.
Holding 2 strands of A together, chain 91 sts
Row 1: Sc in 2nd chain from hook. *dc in next chain. Sc in next chain, rep from * to last ch st. Sc in last ch st. Ch 1 and turn work.
Row 2: Sc in first sc st, *dc in next sc st, sc in next dc st, rep from * until last st, sc in last sc st, ch 1 turn.
Rep row 2 until desired length is reached, using stripe sequence below:
A(9), B(3), A(6), B(9), AB(5), A(2), B(2), A(2), AB(5), A(9), B(5), AB(2), B(4), A(12), B(4), AB(4), B(7), A(2), AB (2), A(2), AB(2), A(2), B(5), A(8)
Finishing: Weave in all loose ends with tapestry needle
Contact Dianne Bland at (313) 655-3941 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Detroit News Staff Writer Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. For more craft news and giveaways, visit her blog at detroitnews.com/crafts. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150 or email@example.com.